General Motors Corporate Office

General Motors Corporate Office Address

General Motors Company
300 Renaissance Center
Detroit, MI 48265

Contact General Motors

Phone Number: (313) 556-5000
Fax Number: (313) 556-5108
Website: http://www.gm.com
Email: Email General Motors

Executives

CEO: Daniel F. Akerson
CFO: Daniel Ammann
COO: Timothy E. Lee

General Motors History

General Motors or GM for short was founded in 1908 in Flint, Michigan by William C. Durant as a holding company the Buick and Oldsmobile brands.

In 1909, Cadillac and Oakland, which eventually becomes Pontiac, join GM.

In 1910, Durant lost control of GM after acquiring too much debt.

In 1912, GM introduces the first electric starter in a Cadillac.

In 1918, Chevrolet becomes part of GM.

In 1925, the company acquires Vauxhall Motors.

In 1931, Opel is acquired.

By 1950, all US models are available with an automatic transmission.

In 1971, the company acquires a 34% stake in Isuzu Motors.

In 1984, the company acquires Electronic Data Systems.  That company is spun off in 1996.

In 1986, the company acquires Hughes Aircraft.

In 1990, the company acquires 50% of Saab and launches the Saturn brand.

In 1999, the company acquires a 20% interest in Fuji Heavy Industries, the maker of Subaru.

In 2000, the company takes full control of Saab and acquires 20% of Fiat.

In 2009, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.  This resulting in a government bailout and closing the Pontiac, Saab, Hummer and Saturn brands.

In 2010, the company filed an IPO and returned to profitability.

Today, General Motors is one of the largest automakers in the world.  The company produces vehicles in 37 countries under 11 brands.

 

 

 

{ 82 comments… read them below or add one }

Sanford Cohen August 20, 2015 at 11:29 am

I represent the Dinah Shore Palm Springs estate. The purpose of this correspondence is to see if there is any interest in using the estate for an ad layout or commercial. I am 60 years old and have always loved the jingle that Ms. Shore sang as well as the commercial featuring the cast of Glee singing “See the USA in your Chevrolet”. Please visit us at http://www.432hermosa.com to view the property.

Sanford Cohen

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Ed August 5, 2015 at 6:28 pm

I bought a 2014 Silverado DRAC unit from a dealership in Scottsdale about 10 months ago. It had only 2k miles on it when I purchased it and now has about 13k. So far, the window motor has been replaced, the air conditioner works intermittently (in 110 degree heat), the radio had to be re-programmed due to updates, the front tire makes such a loud noise when going over speed bumps that I had to bring it into a tire dealership because I was afraid that something was going to fall off the bottom of the truck. The Chevrolet dealership told me that 2 bolts were loose and a flap was missing. This was sold as a new vehicle! Do you mean to tell me that GM does NOT inspect their vehicles prior to selling them to the public? In addition, the rear differential bars are being shipped from CA and replaced (apparently due to dust that “gets in there” (hello, I live in the desert)) as well as the rear body mount springs (amazingly a BULLETIN went out to the dealerships about the loud popping issue 14 days prior to me bringing it in the second time). Doesn’t sound like a big deal, right? Well, it’s a big deal when I brought the truck in a couple of weeks ago for 8 days with the same issues and was told the loud popping sounds were normal because the truck is now broken in. Excuse me? I was also told that the humming noise with the A/C was normal, but they could replace it with an even louder A/C unit with no guarantees. Nice, right? I’ve been buying Chevy’s since 1993. I had an S-10, a piece of junk Blazer that was so bad the dealership gave me a free extended warranty, a Silverado that I had for 12 years with no issues, then the 2014 Silverado which I can tell is going to be a problem already. All the service department keeps telling me is that it’s covered under the warranty so don’t worry! I’m worried! If GM was selling a quality vehicle I shouldn’t have to be farting around with issues already!!!!! I bought a truck from them so that I could drive it, not have it sit in the service department’s bay and drive loaners. Interestingly enough, the “number 1 guy” at the dealership had given me his business card and told me to call him if I had any issues and now I can’t reach him. He’s always out of town or in meetings. Now that’s what I call top notch customer service, don’t you Ms. Barra?
.

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Charlene Knight August 1, 2015 at 8:34 pm

In 2004 I bought a Saturn Ion….I am very petite and was 60 years old. My drive to work was 6 miles. I have kept the car up to perfection with oil changes every 3000 miles, tires rotated as instructed by Belle Tires. Regular check up’s as well. Since I retired in 2008 the car had less than 40,000 miles on it. Since retirement I do a lot of volunteer work with meals on wheels and for shut in’s who may need help with shopping or chores. I now have 80,000 miles and again the power steering unit, shafts, and motor have been replaced in July 2004 the power steering motors were on recall. Its was supposedly fixed…on 12/11 it was replaced again (2nd time 61,359 miles) now it is the same problem shaft & gears gone in the power steering. In 2012 I got a letter extending the warranty on the power steering till 150,000 miles. Now they have decided they will not cover anything. In 2014 they called a recall on the gas lines corroding, as the cadilytic converter. So guess what I got a gas leak they quoted over $1,000 dollars repair that was just the gas leak. I underneath of this car is a sad state of affairs…..Now I am turning 69 I have a car that I bought and maintained, me being the only driver, and no trips other than a couple 250 mile trips to go up north. Now social security isn’t going to help I am not making that much; my daughter passed and a big chunk went to her funeral and my brother follow shortly after. I am too old to even think of a 5 year car payment commitment which is out of the question. Now tell yourself my can has been taken care of excellently, my mileage is 80,065 and it has been repaired 3 times for the same thing over and over. The dealership let me leave the facility with a gas leak since I didn’t have $1,000,00 at my finger tips. I filed a complain 6/14 to the FTC and General Motors and never got a response from either. The day after I took my can in this past week I got call that said absolutely nothing. Just acknowledged the complaint (a year later) this time I called the FTC back they have my complain and told me to call the National Traffic & Safety Commission. The this nice man at the FTC advised me to file the complaint give them a few weeks to respond; if I don’t get any assistance to call for legal help. In the meantime, my seniors that get meals on wheels don’t have food delivery, nor does any senior who may need a ride to the doctor, etc. I just want to vomit it is so disgusting the way people are treated and the number of complaints you must file over and over while not having a vehicle. My grandfather was a Chevy man; always said don’t by anything but a Chevy; so i owned a 1955, 1957, 1959, 1963, 1975, 1980 and in the end of good experiences I get treated like moron!! They need to be held responsible period! Just think 80,000 miles and the bottom is corroded the steering column & gears just break looks like about every 25,000 miles. If I had the nerve I be like the lady on TV who throws the tire through the window except it would be this piece of junk going through the front window. In fact, what if we all get picket signs and really show GM what they are up against. I’m in are you??????

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Thomas Sweeney July 29, 2015 at 1:39 pm

I purchased a 2014 Chevy Cruze in January 2014. In addition to some other problems, the air bag system alarm has gone off countless times, “Service Airbag System warning light has come on, and the passenger airbag turns off when an adult is sitting in it. I have taken it to the dealership and had it serviced nine (9) times for this problem, and they have failed to repair it. The vehicle did it two days after receiving it back just recently. The GM representative, Clarice, ext 592137 told me GM will not buy back the vehicle and allow me to purchase a newer model with some consideration of the loss I would incur. She keeps saying they will fix my vehicle, but I think if is now evident they cannot. Pleases help me.

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vickie July 29, 2015 at 8:00 am

After reading some of the comments, GMC and CHEVROLET, really don’t care about customers being satisfied! Maybe since they don’t care about us! We buy a different brand, boycott them, they go under! To bad, we are the people that keeps the company going! No sales! No profit, no assembly of vehicles, down the drain they go!

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vickie July 29, 2015 at 7:51 am

The Allison transmission! That your d o so proud of! I’m having trouble with mine! Gets hot and doesn’t want to shift! I’ve only pulled a few items with my truck! Love the Duramax! Transmission needs improved! Yes im out of warranty! So repairs are on me!
Find out why it’s getting hot and not shifting and let me know! Upset GMC owner!

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V.T.Durshimer July 28, 2015 at 4:45 pm

I can not believe I am unable to get an answer to a simple question concerning an odor coming from the air conditioning unit in my 2015 CTS Cadillac. The dealership is having to install a kit, rewire something or another after taking the dash board off and then having to use some chemical to dispel the odor I guess. The smell is like a used vacuum cleaner bag contents. It is taking two days to resolve the issue, and granted, I have a loaner car, but I am wondering what is going to be the long term effect on a car with 1800 miles on it, being torn apart. The headquarters deny having ever issuing a notice about this and yet the dealership knew to order a kit. I am so tired of incompetent people who will not listen to you and tell the truth. I am not mad at the dealership. It is the big dogs that treat customers like dirt. If you call the 800 number you automatically have filed a case……why not just talk and solve the problems???

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meredith July 31, 2015 at 4:46 pm

I too am having a terrible ammonia type smell through my ac. They could careless. Mine also has a beautiful SHAKE in the front end. That BUICK states is a characteistic if the car. Hahaha hahaha. 30 thousand dollars for a new car that shakes. nICE job!!!!!!!!! F***ing morons. I have tried lemon law with NO satisfaction. Aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh I hate these bastards

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carol July 15, 2015 at 5:00 pm

I guess you are still supporting Kid Rock because, like you, he comes from Michigan. However, WHAT RIGHT DOES HE HAVE TO CONTINUE TO USE THE CONFEDERATE FLAG WHEN HE HAS ABSOLUTELY NO TIES TO THE SOUTH? You just lost 2 about to be customers in my family.

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Kara Freeman June 22, 2015 at 2:58 pm

I am at my wits-end with my Chevy Tahoe! It is in the shop just about every 3 months! Not only the inconvenience of not having a vehicle, yall wait until my extended warranty is expired to FINALLY find the issue to the SAME PROBLEM I’ve been having each time it’s taken/towed into Chuck Nash Auto Group in San Marcos, TX. I don’t even TRUST that the issue has been found considering it’s been in there numerous times for the SAME issue & this time I was told, “we feel confident that it’s the starter”, but last week they were adimant that it was a wire that was “grounding out that was causing the battery to drain”!?!? We replaced our battery (that still read 98% cell life at autozone but they insisted that we get a brand new one with 100% cell life, therefore voiding our warranty on the battery), we’ve had the electrical system replaced, and the list continues, but they’re STILL finding different wires that are “grounding out”!? How thorough are yall when yall are making repairs, replacing parts, and (obviously) TROUBLESHOOTING what the issue(s) COULD be!? We don’t have $400-$650 just laying around to spend on a new starter that they “feel confident” is the issue… Is this the first time they looked at the starter!? Don’t yall have a check list to go by!? Not to mention, my vehicle is still under 100,000 miles!? I’m sickened by the run-around yall give honest, hard-working families like ourselves…yall are just a money-hungry corporate company that doesn’t give a rats-ass about the lives yall impact! I can’t even go forward with the spinal surgery I’m desperately needing because we’re too busy paying for parts for this piece of crap vehicle that yall “feel confident” will fix the issue! The issue is: it doesn’t start – leaving myself & 3 year old daughter stranded in the Texas heat while most are trying to recover from the recent floods! My husband nearly lost his job bc he had to leave work and come to our rescue, AGAIN (and we’re a single income family)! I’m absolutely disgusted & feel so helpless! Thanks for NOTHING GM, American Company – MY ASS!!

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Cheryl Moore June 10, 2015 at 8:15 pm

I purchased a 2014 GMC Terrain new off of the lot at Davenport Auto park in May 2014. It has been nothing but trouble! The collision feature will go off without warning or merit! I can be out in the middle of nowhere driving down the road at 70 and Bam! The collision light goes off…the breaks engage hard throwing me forward on my seatbelt. I ve taken it in several times, they tell me they cannot get it to replicate and send me on my way.
I asked them is it going to take be getting g kilked on ice or heavey rain to have someone take this serious?
It is so unreliable that if it sat for two days the battery would be stone dead. I took it in the second time it did it (first time I thought it was me. ) all they could do was say it was a defective battery. So here I am again, stuck in the middle of NO where with no power on a brand new vehicle.
Can it just be lemoned? I need help!!!!!

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charles polaski May 13, 2015 at 7:49 pm

i just want to thank GM for selling me a 2014 silverado that was wrecked before i bought it NEW YES I SAY NEW AND THE DEALER AND GM WILL DO NUTHING ABOUT IT THANKS I SPENT 42000.OO AND GOT RIPPED OFF IF THIS IS NOT RESOLVED I WILL BUY ANOTHER BRAND OF TRUCK WHAT IS GOING ON I TRUSTED CHEVY THANKS AGAIN !!!

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Timothy Ragland April 20, 2015 at 3:19 pm

Y’all make cars but don’t take the time to make sure the recalls are fixed I wrecked my Saturn ion 2 an my airbags didn’t come out now I’m stuck without a car cause y’all want get me a rental car

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fred April 20, 2015 at 8:07 am

THANK You GM for having incompetent representatives that know nothing about cars or their parts . purchased a remanufactured transmission from Bobby layman Columbus Ohio (3 year 36,000) lasted less than 4 months and only 4 thousand miles. would not cover unless they pull transmission out .when they took it out they cracked the top of the casing General Motors or Bobby layman would not cover the transmission even though damage was internal .A GM representative named Byers. that knows absolutely nothing about parts and how they work would not cover it.

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Doris Kirkwood April 17, 2015 at 3:43 pm

Purchased a 2015 Canyon GMC truck on Feb, 7 with 1 mile on it and took possession on Feb. 9. Six days later the front left wheel fell off while making a left turn causing the truck to hit a car at the same intersection. GM has denied any claim saying that hitting the car made the wheel fall off but I can prove otherwise. We have pictures showing the wheel on the ground in front of the car. Three sets of pictures were forwarded to GM. They deny saying hitting the car made the wheel fall off. However there was very little damage to the car fender and the wheel was in front of the fender. I would advise no person to purchase a General Motors product. It is inconceivable to me that they have denied this claim.

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mark chase April 2, 2015 at 8:55 am

2004 trailblazer biggest peace of junk I have ever had in my life, replaced all front end parts twice, frame is rotten, replaced seat belts 3times been a Chevy man all my life but not no more, will never buy another GM product, hate to say it but time to buy foreign

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Shawnna March 23, 2015 at 9:37 am

We have been GMC/Chevy owners for many years and we bought a 2011 acadia in 2013 and from about 6/8 months after we purchased it has been nothing but a nightmare with problems needing to be fixed. I can’t even trade in the damn thing from being upside down in it because they know the car ain’t worth shit and won’t give you anything for it on a trade in. We take very good care of our vehicles and I’m just fed up with this. I simply wrote on here to warn people to never but an acadia. Not worth your time and money.

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mike borruso April 24, 2015 at 7:10 am

christen swanson robed me with my x wife he is a genral motors emploie and im not going away call me 1315982****

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Shelly Helton March 16, 2015 at 11:57 pm

I bought a 2010 Chevrolet Equinox LTZ brand new off the lot, I have since put 2 fuel pumps, 2 transmissions, throttle body, my air compressor is out ( which they wanted 1400 to replace cause the warranty didn’t cover) my sunroof is tore up, and now my car is completely undriveable. The rear main seal went out and there is metal shavings in my motor oil! I still owe on the piece of junk!! I am at my wits end, I don’t know what to do, I can’t afford to put a new engine, I can’t afford to run out and buy a new car and still pay on this car!! I have called GM and they could care less about the people that support their pay!! What do I need to do???

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Thomas James March 12, 2015 at 12:20 pm

I purchased a used 2001 GMC 3500 truck for my personal and business use in 2012. I bought from a reputable GMC/Chevy dealer in Pittsburgh, PA.The truck had 98,000 miles on it at time of purchase and now has 145,000. Recently, fluids began leaking from the truck. After much money spent on trying to locate the source of leak, it was found- a pinhole in the front portion of the rear differential pumpkin caused by erosion from the inside out. Not only did 2 different mechanics (one of which works at aforementioned dealership) confirm this, they both claim that it was a manufacturing defect and that the pumpkin should be basically indestructible. I can’t get anyone at GMC to help remedy this problem, which appears will cost several thousand dollars, and my truck, which I mostly use for my construction business, has been sitting at the dealership for over a month. I don’t think I should have to shell out one more cent to fix a problem that shouldn’t exist. The problem was with manufacturing, not from usage. Anytime I try to speak with someone in the organization, I’m told there is no one to handle my problem.

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stanley Jones March 11, 2015 at 7:23 pm

Having problems with my 2006 GMC ENVOY – the problem is the gas cap. The engine light keeps coming on – had it service by GMC more than once and it still isn’t fix – Please advise.

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Charity March 11, 2015 at 2:22 am

I want you to know that I have filed a complaint against GM on safercars.gov concerning my 2008 Impala. I have nearly had several wrecks due my car losing power and stalling. Each time the service engine light comes on along with reduce engine speed. My car is shutting itself off while im driving it and apparently my impala is not the only one doing. There were hundreds on the site documenting them. There are several other site addressing the same issue. I have spoke with a GM customer service and it seems like no one cares. I guess GM doesnt value peoples lives like they claim. I have replaced the gas pedal and throttle body and still not better. These are codes that the diagnostic machine is picking up. My next step is to talk to a lawyer since GM doesnt want to do a recall on these cars. My life and the lives of my children may not matter to GM but they matter to me

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Lee March 8, 2015 at 12:18 am

This is the only section I can find to hopefully get my problem heard by someone in GM that can help. I ordered a 2015 Corvette Stingray built to my specs. I was promised the car in 4-6 weeks average and 6-8 weeks maximum. It’s well past 8 weeks and neither GM or my dealership can provide me with a build date. That is completely ridiculous. My dealership is now ignoring me. I have talked to people at both GM and my dealership and no one seems to care if I cancel my order and either go to another dealership or most likely to a completely different car manufacturer. I know me not buying GM anymore won’t make a difference, but like I told my dealership, I buy new cars like kids buy candy. If GM and my dealership are willing to treat a customer that buys like I do like garbage, they will do it to anyone. I simple want to know what the hold up is and when is my car going to be built. I see tons of vette’s being delivered to local dealerships just to sit on their lot. Why is my car not being built when you know you have a buyer??? If anyone at GM with some clout reads this please contact me. I’m a simple guy, treat me right, I’m a customer for life, but treat me like garbage and I’ll walk in a heartbeat.

Lee

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Lee March 19, 2015 at 7:08 pm

Of course here we are weeks later and still no info and no Corvette. This is the most absurd thing I have ever seen. No one has bothered to contact me to tell me the heck is going on. GM does not care about their customers. I found out about GM’s pathetic allocation system. That is a huuuge joke. You got a sold car waiting to be built but it is no more important than the one your gonna have sitting on a dealership lot for months before its sold. Special orders should not count toward the allocations and should have build priority. I was told 6-8 weeks max until delivery. Its now been nearly 12 weeks and still in status 1100 and no one can tell me anything. I am extremely mad and no one will even bother to try to help me. GM, your the worst to deal with, plain and simple.

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Buddy February 23, 2015 at 5:35 pm

My Son, a single parent, purchased his Grandfathers 2002 Impala from his estate sale “knowing” he was getting a GREAT, RELIABLE Auto with very low mileage which made it even better.
Well, that was until the TRANSMISSION went out at ONLY 52,000 miles.
At only 52,000 Miles the car sits. My son has had to resort to taking the children to school this winter in a SUV with no heater, Until I loaned him my FORD.
You guys at GM are very much able to put out decent cars and trucks, I don’t know why you don’t do it!
Things like this causes real problems on the working class, and I think you know that.
I think you, at GM should REPLACE THE TRANSMISSION in his car at no cost to him at all.
Thank for your time.

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Yvonne February 4, 2015 at 8:05 pm

I’m quite unsettled with the bonus your people get while I have to lose wages to get recalls on my Buick fixed on a recall they didn’t get right the first time. Are you paying the consumer that made you all the money..or your employees costing the consumer?

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Tiara January 9, 2015 at 4:17 pm

I am making a complaint and will be contacting a lawyer and consumer affairs if i get no results. My vehicle 2003 Saturn Ion has now 2 recalls on it. I am due to have a baby and am very nervous about putting my child in this vehicle. I will not stop until everybody hears me out. Im tired of customer service going down the drain. I will not be spoken to nor disrespected like i have been by John Zimmerman from the central buick in norwood mass. I have this recall i have been dealing with now for almost a year with no results. he rudely told me i pulled my car out and refused to do the work-THAT IS A LIE.- i had problems renting from enterprise so i decided to pick up my vehicle because i do have to get back and forth to work like everybody does and asked buick to contact me to set up and appt for the 2nd time once my parts arrived seeing that the first time they lost my parts. I want this resolved. i want an apology from the company and i have contacted the better business nureau and will go to the media as well as i will like i said contact cosumer affairs and the safer vehicle hotline to make sure everyone knows how rude this place is. i will also be contacting a lawyer.

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Charlene Knight August 1, 2015 at 8:38 pm

please read my email above with my 2004 Saturn….if you want to lawyer up let me know I will probably being doing the same thing.

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Vaddie James January 2, 2015 at 7:13 pm

My complaint is I purchased a 2009 G6 Pontiac brand new. I have had to have several repairs on the car. My car has 76,000 miles on it and the transmission has gone out on it. I call and spoke to their customer rep, to see if the could help with some of the cost to have my car repaired. The first person I spoke with said they should able to give some assistance with the cost. Two days later Serra Chevrolet call me and said they would give me some assistance but I would have to pay approximately 2500.00 dollars out of pocket money. Now here is the issue Serra Chevrolet said they would put me a use transmission for 1900.00 dollars, but General motor wouldn’t help on the use one. Serra .
Chevrolet would not give me a loaner car to drive until they get my car repaired. I had to rent a car. I am very disappointed in General motor and their customer service. One of the rep told me to call her on 1/2/15, I call her they wasn’t at work. I then talked with someone named Sandra we got disconnected, I try calling her back, no answer. I appreciate if someone would help me to pay some of cost to getting my car repaired. I believe the transmission was a company defeat. A transmission should last a least 100,000 miles before it goes out. Please response

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James Hopkins January 1, 2015 at 6:38 pm

I assure you, this is NOT the only site on the internet to get results from GM ! I’ll do whatever it takes to get the word out via social networking, if GM doesn’t make good on the EQUINOX I bought and am having trouble with ! ! !
However I haven’t put it out there YET ! ! ! ! !

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Lee Young December 20, 2014 at 12:59 am

After purchasing a 2011 Cruze NIGHTMARE, I think the new motto should be:

“What’s good for General Motors, is only good for General Motors”

byebye GM, Hello Toyota

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Tim Wysong December 17, 2014 at 1:50 am

***FORWARD TO – DAN AMMANN, President – MARY BARRA, CEO ***

Understand that it takes the hiring of a person from Audi, to give his overall performance review about Cadillac Dealerships in The United States, and his ways to increase Sales are not going to do any good, from now until the time that General Motors recognizes that their prices need to be reduced.

Reduced? … Yes, reduced.

Did you happen to read that Daimler Benz has cut the price of the new Maybach in half?

Competition in today’s economy between any auto manufacturer, is to see “who has got the better mouse-trap”, and GM, with your prices where they are at presently, says you will not budge and in the books for the end of the fiscal year will say that for all the money you spent in hiring one person from Audi, Johan de Nysschen, you really need to pay attention more, to what the Economy is telling you.

Hey GM, are you really and truly serious about not listening? Here is the answer that no one believes is not found within your circle.

Okay GM, effective immediately, “reduce new Cadillac vehicle prices across the board”.

In the Economy here in The United States, you must make a statement for success to prevail.

Cadillac vehicles must be reduced in price, with the Escalade, being reduced by $20k.
We all know it did not cost GM $75k to build the Escalade, so why gouge the buyers market and give it the boot, when all you need is common sense.

Lower prices on all new Cadillac vehicles will increase sales, which after all is why you hired ‘ol what’s his face from Audi to do.

Cadillac dealerships are not in the wrong place …. Johan de Nysschen is.

In case you did not read the article, here it is …

Why General Motors Thinks Cadillac’s Dealers Need Help

The revival of General Motors’ (NYSE: GM ) luxury Cadillac brand was one of the big stories in the auto business last year. The old brand’s U.S. sales rose 21.9% last year, thanks to strong new models that drew big praise from critics.

But this year has been a very different story. Through November, Cadillac’s U.S. sales are down 5.9% — even as other luxury brands have set new sales records.

What’s the deal? The deal is that Cadillac’s problems run much deeper than last year’s sales success would suggest. The good news is that Cadillac has a strong new leader, longtime Audi executive Johan de Nysschen, who understands those problems and knows what to do about them.

De Nysschen reports to GM President Dan Ammann, and Ammann and CEO Mary Barra have promised de Nysschen something nearly unprecedented in GM’s history: the budget, the leeway, and the patience needed to do everything necessary to turn Cadillac into a top global luxury brand.

And one of the things de Nysschen is determined to work on is Cadillac’s dealer network.

Why dealers are a problem and an opportunity for Cadillac
What’s the problem with Cadillac’s U.S. dealer network? There are several problems, de Nysschen said in a presentation to Wall Street analysts last month.

First, there are a lot of Cadillac dealers in the United States: 925, almost three times as many as rival BMW (NASDAQOTH: BAMXF ) has here. That arguably makes Cadillac seem like a less exclusive brand than BMW, and it definitely hurts the profitability of each of those dealerships relative to BMW’s.

Why? Because each store ends up selling fewer cars. Consider: Last year, Cadillac sold 182,540 vehicles in the U.S. That works out to an average of 197 per store. Meanwhile, BMW’s 339 U.S. dealers sold 309,280 vehicles last year, or about 912 per dealership — or put another way, over four times as many.

That’s a huge difference in average profitability per store.

But dealers are franchise-holders, not part of GM or Cadillac itself. Why does Cadillac care? There are lots of reasons that GM (or any automaker) should care a great deal about the health of its dealers, but here’s a big one that’s especially important in the luxury market: A dealer selling fewer cars is less likely to be willing or able to invest in the services and amenities that luxury-car customers demand.

De Nysschen feels that Cadillac dealers are far behind Toyota’s Lexus and the big three German luxury brands in terms of overall customer experience. That relates to everything from the dealerships’ decor to their level of customer-service technology — but in particular, he feels that Cadillac dealers have trouble attracting top-notch sales and service talent.

That’s a big issue. In the ATS and CTS, Cadillac finally has two models that are credible, appealing alternatives to the German-brand stalwarts. That should be enough to entice some BMW or Audi owners to switch. But so far, those buyers haven’t materialized in significant numbers.

As de Nysschen sees it, the German-brand loyalists might be tempted to check out a Cadillac, but they lose interest once they encounter the current reality of (many) Cadillac dealerships, where the sales representatives may not have the experience or talent to successfully represent Cadillac’s latest products in the way that BMW or Mercedes-Benz owners have come to expect.

GM itself is part of the problem here, too
Having too many dealers is part of the problem, but de Nysschen says that another big factor is that many of those dealers are in the wrong places:

It is a policy at General Motors that when you have common ownership of stores of the various brands of the corporation that we want them to cohabitate. So it’s against the company’s policy to let a Cadillac store, for example, be positioned next door to a BMW store owned by the same dealer. We want the family to be together.

Now there are, I’m sure, very good merits for that if you are running Chevrolet, GMC, or Buick. But what you do when you execute that policy for Cadillac is that you put the brand in an environment where luxury shoppers don’t want to go. And if you want to exercise synergies and back-office shared services and whatever, it trickles down and you end up selling Cadillac out of the back door of the Chevy store.

And I will tell you, no BMW owner would want to go look for a Cadillac there.

Ouch. So how will de Nysschen address this problem?

Will GM start closing Cadillac dealers?
Cutting the number of dealerships would be one obvious solution to all of these problems. Reducing the number of Cadillac dealerships would instantly make most of the survivors more profitable — and even the threat of elimination might motivate dealers to spend money on the upgrades de Nysschen wants to see.

But as GM discovered when it eliminated the Oldsmobile brand, closing dealerships is an expensive hassle. New-car dealers are independent businesses protected by a myriad of state laws. Many have been locally owned family businesses for generations, and they’ve amassed considerable political clout. GM would likely have to buy out several hundred dealers, a project that could cost billions and take a year or more — a year in which a lot of hard feelings might be generated.

It’s possible that GM will eventually decide it needs to trim Cadillac’s dealer ranks despite the cost and hassle. But even if that’s what de Nysschen and GM are planning, I wouldn’t expect them to announce it until it’s actually happening, and de Nysschen gave no hints that such a project was in the works. On the contrary, he laid out several ideas for making the most of the brand’s existing network.

He argued, for instance, that Cadillac’s large number of dealers gives it representation in smaller markets that its competitors might miss. Some of those smaller-market dealerships could be transformed into “boutique” stores that could operate profitably while still representing the brand well, he said.

But GM can help its dealers raise their games in other ways. De Nysschen hinted at a new dealer-bonus system that would provide incentives for activities that helped support the brand. And the ongoing effort to raise Cadillac’s average transaction prices will help dealers make more money per sale, and that in turn can boost their enthusiasm for the brand and spur investment.

Cadillac’s average transaction prices are already up about $5,000 this year, even as its U.S. sales have fallen. Audi’s recent experience suggests that could help boost dealer investment: Trade publication Ward’s Auto recently noted that Audi’s average transaction prices have risen roughly $9,600 per unit over the last five years, and its U.S. dealer body has collectively invested about $1 billion in upgrades over the same period. Audi has about 280 U.S. dealers. And some investments have already been made: Cadillac spokesman David Caldwell said via email that about half of the brand’s U.S. dealers have already upgraded their facilities to GM’s latest standard, including many in key metropolitan markets.

Nysschen thinks that GM can also help its Cadillac dealers boost their revenues from used-car sales — in a way that helps the brand. Cadillac, like most automakers, has a “certified pre-owned” program for used cars. Not all dealers have a significant used-Cadillac operation, but de Nysschen thinks they should: It can be a significant source of profits for a dealer — the average profit per sale can exceed that of new-vehicle sales.

The upshot: Big changes are coming to the way Cadillac sells cars
GM has been talking about raising Cadillac’s game for years. But in de Nysschen, it finally has a leader who knows what to do, along with the power to get it done.

For a while now, Cadillac’s challenge has been that its cars have improved to the point where they can compete with the Germans, but the brand itself hasn’t made the same progress.

Improving Cadillac’s U.S. dealer network has the potential to do a lot of good for the way the brand is perceived by luxury-minded customers.

It’s just one step in many that de Nysschen has planned for Cadillac. But it’s an important and very visible one. GM shareholders will be watching this one closely

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